The setting sun was glowing on the strange lady, over the garden-fence, and she came walking up to the door with a fell rigidity of figure and composure of countenance that could have belonged to nobody else.
DAVID COPPERFIELD by CHARLES DICKENS PREFACE TO 1850 EDITION I do not find it easy to get sufficiently far away from this Book, in the first sensations of having finished it, to refer to it with the composure which this formal heading would seem to require.
Copperfield and myself,’ said Miss Murdstone, with severe composure, ’are connexions.
I asked him, with a better appearance of composure than I could have thought possible a minute before, whether he had made his feelings known to Agnes.
PREFACE TO THE CHARLES DICKENS EDITION I REMARKED in the original Preface to this Book, that I did not find it easy to get sufficiently far away from it, in the first sensations of having finished it, to refer to it with the composure which this formal heading would seem to require.
But I remarked two things: first, that though Annie soon recovered her composure, and was quite herself, there was a blank between her and Mr. Wickfield which separated them wholly from each other; secondly, that Mr. Wickfield seemed to dislike the intimacy between her and Agnes, and to watch it with uneasiness.
She said no more, except, ’My dear child, never ask me what it was, and don’t refer to it,’ until she had perfectly regained her composure, when she told me she was quite herself now, and we might get out.
I noticed how her eye lighted on me, when she thought my attention otherwise occupied; and what a curious process of hesitation appeared to be going on within her, while she preserved her outward stiffness and composure.
’— thousand, do you mean?’ inquired my aunt, with uncommon composure, ’or pounds?’
My aunt, retaining her stiff position, and apparent composure, assented with a nod.
’With my school?’ said she, looking up again, in all her bright composure.
Mrs. Traddles, with perfect pleasure and composure beaming from her household eyes, having made the tea, then quietly made the toast as she sat in a corner by the fire.
In her placid sisterly manner; with her beaming eyes; with her tender voice; and with that sweet composure, which had long ago made the house that held her quite a sacred place to me; she soon won me from this weakness, and led me on to tell all that had happened since our last meeting.
Having laid in the materials for a bowl of punch, to be compounded by Mr. Micawber; having provided a bottle of lavender-water, two wax-candles, a paper of mixed pins, and a pincushion, to assist Mrs. Micawber in her toilette at my dressing-table; having also caused the fire in my bedroom to be lighted for Mrs. Micawber’s convenience; and having laid the cloth with my own hands, I awaited the result with composure.
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After I regained my composure, I thanked her for telling me about the problem.
During all this time he was evidently struggling for composure.